Demonstration of migration inhibition factor (MIF)3 is a generally, albeit not universally, accepted test for cell-mediated immunity. Peripheral leukocytes are allowed to migrate in either culture medium alone, or with various antigens. If the antigens are employed to which the lymphocytes are previously sensitized, the lymphocytes will then produce MIF, which causes inhibition of leukocyte migration. Leukocytes from patients with Graves' disease and Hashi moto's thyroiditis were studied; other subjects included a group of normal persons, patients with various other thyroid disorders, as well as a group of patients with auto-immune diseases. In the patients with Graves' disease, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, MIF was found to be markedly positive to thyroid antigens, but not to control antigens. In patients with Graves' disease, treated with radioactive iodine, years earlier, MIF appeared to be lower. There was no correlation between the MIF results and the presence or titre of thyroid auto-antibodies and/or long-acting thyroid stimulator (LATS). These findings indicate a role for cell-mediated immunity, not only in Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but in Graves' disease as well.
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